Rock 'n' Roll: Crawford vs. Porter
By Robert Ecksel on November 20, 2021
As the great Sandy Saddler once said, and it applies to Porter as well, “I fight rough, sure.”
In a fight televised live tonight on ESPN+ pay-per-view from the Michelob Ultra Arena at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, master boxer-puncher Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), the undefeated WBO welterweight champion from Omaha, Nebraska, will defend his title against two-time titlist “Showtime” Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), the whirling dervish from Akron, Ohio.
The bout is the most significant of Crawford’s career. He has beaten excellent fighters, but he hasn’t faced an elite challenger until now. Porter can box. It’s rumbling at which he excels. He’ll get in his licks, and his elbows, head, and whatnot. He’s an expert at throwing opponents off their game. But Crawford is in a class of his own. Because of his affiliation with Top Rank, he was denied participation in PBC’s welterweight round robin between Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter.
That is about to change.
“I’ve been calling for these top welterweights since I came in the division,” said Crawford. There was nothing really I could do. We just had to bide our time, be patient.
“Now we’re here. Shawn Porter is the one who I have in front of me. This is the fight I have for November 20th.”
Porter doesn’t do boxing by the book. But as the great Sandy Saddler once said, and it applies to Porter, as well, “I fight rough, sure.”
And he knows what he’s up against.
“He’s got this rhythm about himself,” said Porter of Crawford, “and he’s got, of course, a confidence about himself. And that’s kind of, like, where I live. I live in disrupting your rhythm, I live in figuring out what makes you uncomfortable. It’s hard to adjust to on fight night. When I look and I see the way he likes to move, and I don’t allow him to move that way and disrupt things—he’s someone who’s an emotional fighter. He’s gonna get uncomfortable and it’s gonna start to fester mentally and emotionally, and it’s gonna show up in the fight.”
Crawford’s not buying it.
“I respect everything that Shawn does,” he said. “Shawn is athletic, he can box, he can bang, he can move around in the ring, he can cut corners and take angles. I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t respect anything that he does. I’m just going to say that I do a lot of things better than Shawn.”
Porter of course thinks otherwise.
“I could say the same thing he said, and I believe it.”